The project

Building an Epic Fantasy Romance… watch the process unfold

I’m embarking on a new fantasy romance novel – to be published under my pen-name Jayne Castel) – combining my two loves: an exciting epic fantasy adventure with a powerful love story.

This page will gradually unveil the book, as I progress through the planning, writing, editing and publishing process. Although I’ve previously written and self-published ten novels, this is the first book I’ve written in this way – and there are two reasons for it.

  1. To plan and clarify my ideas, as I move through the process
  2. To provide support, ideas and inspiration for other writers of Epic Fantasy and Fantasy Romance

The Cover



The Title

RULED BY SHADOWS by Jayne Castel

The Nuts and Bolts

For now, the following headings have nothing following them. However, as I began to pull my story together, each of them will start developing:

Premise (the key idea that brings the whole story together)

In a land ruled by shadows, the fate of all lies in the hands of a girl who is afraid of the dark.

Read my blog post about creating a premise.

Main characters (What they want, and their flaws)

Lilia and Perrin. Lilia is a fearful young woman who works as a cook in a tavern. Perrin is the indolent the son of the tavern owner.

Read my blog post to find out more about my two protagonists.

Backstory (a bit about the world I’m creating)

A religion based on a fear of shadows dominates the world I’m creating. As such, the symbols of darkness and shadows will dominate throughout the story.

Read my blog post to find out more about the back story.

Inciting incident (The event that sets the whole story in motion)

Lilia promises to look after a charm for a mysterious traveller, she has no idea the trouble it will bring to her door. What appears to be a humble Hag Stone, used by folk to ward off evil spirits, is in reality a powerful talisman – one that a secret brotherhood has spent a thousand years searching for.


A novel lives mostly inside a writer’s head while it’s being written – but there are a few tools, such as Pinterest, which give others glimpses into the creative process. I tend to visualise my story in a series of ‘movie scenes’, so Pinterest is a great tool for keeping track of ideas and creating a ‘mood’ for the story.

Take a look at my Fantasy Romance Inspiration Pinterest board.